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    Although a few apple (Malus × ×domestica) varieties are self-compatible, little is known about the differences in fruit quality between self- and cross-pollinated apple. In our current study, we compared the fruit quality of self-pollinated apple plants (cultivar 'Hanfu') in self-pollination or cross-pollinated by another cultivar 'Qinguan'. Analysis of fruit quality revealed substantial differences in the external qualities between self- and cross-pollinated apple fruit, but not in the internal qualities. Fruits harvested from self-pollinated 'Hanfu' were smaller and more asymmetrical than those harvested from the cross-pollinated plants. We developed a mathematical model describing how seed number and distribution affect fruit growth. According to this model, the fewer the seeds, the greater the force released from the seeds and the more asymmetrical the fruit. Detection of endogenous hormone and the associated gene expression revealed that gibberellin (GA) levels and GA transporter gene expression on the seedless side were significantly lower than those on the seeded side. Analysis of fruit pectin methylesterase activity and demethylated pectin levels indicated that the lack of GA limits fruit cell wall extension. Additionally, spraying the self-pollinating plants with gibberellic acid increased the fruit weight and lowered the proportion of asymmetrical fruit, recovering the exterior fruit quality to that of the cross-pollinated fruit. Furthermore, exogenous GA treatment increased the wax layer thickness and reduced the fruit water loss rate, leading to a dramatic improvement in fruit storage capacity. Therefore, exogenous GA treatment could be used to ensure regular fruit production of self-pollinated 'Hanfu'. Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.


    Chunsheng Liu, Pengshuai Xiao, Feng Jiang, Shengyuan Wang, Zhi Liu, Guozhu Song, Wei Li, Tianxing Lv, Jun Li, Dongmei Wang, Yang Li, Chuanbao Wu, Tianzhong Li. Exogenous gibberellin treatment improves fruit quality in self-pollinated apple. Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB. 2022 Mar 01;174:11-21

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    PMID: 35121481

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